Starkville's Sunday Funday will close out the weekend and its 2019 season this Sunday.

The local art and music event will be held from 1-7 p.m. on University Drive between the former City Bagel building and Scooter's Records. 

Joe MacGown is the board chairman of the Sunday Funday event.

"It's a low-key, fun event for the public that's good for all backgrounds," MacGown said.

Sunday Funday is held one Sunday each month from May to October, starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. The event features local and regional bands, art vendors, food vendors and booths for other events and businesses throughout Starkville. The event is free to the public, and people come from all over East Mississippi to attend the event. MacGown said the event initially started out small and has grown tremendously since its creation three years ago. 

"It's really grown, we've had 7-10 vendors and now we have up to 40," MacGown said.

Sunday Funday is run by sponsorships, donations and grants.

"One of the cool things about it is that it's usually held on a private property owned by the Camps in the Cotton District, and they've been very helpful to us with having this event," MacGown said. "It makes it a lot easier."

This event is unique to Starkville because it gives people a chance to immerse themselves in the arts, and it helps artists lead people to that.

"Being an artist, there's not a lot of venues to sell art here and people don't have a lot of opportunity to see local art," MacGown said.  "It's a regular event that showcases our local talent."

Sunday Funday not only gives local artists a venue to present their art to the community, but it gives the community a chance to respond to artists and purchase their art.

"We're teaching young people how to run their own businesses. They're learning how to run cards and deal with customers." MacGown said. "We're creating a network of artists."

State sales tax is taken up during the event, benefitting both the artists and the community at large.

Sunday Funday features not only fine artists but musicians as well.

The featured band for this month's Sunday Funday is CBDB, a progressive rock band founded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

While many people in the community simply attend the event, others choose to play a developmental role.

Jessie McLaren and Brandon McLaren run an informational booth for the Magnolia Film Festival at Sunday Funday events. Jessie McLaren serves as social and community events coordinator for the festival while Brandon McLaren serves as director and programmer.

The McLarens had attended Sunday Funday before setting up their booth. They said community atmosphere offers a way for artists to meet people. 

"Sunday Funday really is an arts festival for artists," Brandon McLaren said. "Everyone's more engaged with one another, you get a different vibe when you're there."

The couple had first attended Sunday Funday in 2018. They heard about the event through Facebook and ended up taking their children several times throughout the season.

"I like it because it's supporting the local arts, and it's a way for the community to come together," Jessie McLaren said. "I also enjoy the food, especially because it's all local."

Siena Turner, a senior broadcasting major, has been a student volunteer at Sunday Funday since May of this year, though she had not previously attended the monthly event.

"I heard about it initially in one of my classes," Turner said.

During her junior year, Turner interviewed the owner of Scooter's Records for one of her classes, and the event was mentioned during the interview.

"He brought it to my attention that he gets more clientele during Sunday Funday and that more people hear about his business," Turner said.

After getting involved with the Magnolia Film Festival, Turner began volunteering at their booth for Sunday Funday. As an out-of-state student from Atlanta, Georgia, Sunday Funday gave her an opportunity to meet people outside of the Mississippi State University.

"I like seeing how the locals come together and introduce their different businesses," Turner said. "It's a great way to bring the community together to socialize and have a great Sunday."

Turner said she enjoys meeting people while working at the event, whether it is other students, faculty or Starkville residents. She also enjoys seeing different perspectives while volunteering.

One reason Turner said Sunday Funday is beneficial for students is because the event gets them involved in the community beyond their college-based groups.

"It helps you get out of your dorm or apartment and make friends," Turner said.

Turner then explained how students often become so focused on getting to know their college campuses that they often forget about the area outside of the school. 

"It's just a nice event, it's very relaxed," Turner said.

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